30 September 2016
Visit colt.net

Sepa Council established to kickstart EU payments convergence

07 June 2010  |  12183 views  |  3 Sepa

The European Commission and European Central bank have hosted the first meeting of the Sepa Council, a new body created to guide the future development of the Single Euro Payments Area project.

The meeting brought together top-level representatives from both the demand and supply sides of the European payments market.

Participants from the demand side included consumers, retailers, businesses/corporates, small and medium-sized companies, and national public administrations. Supply side representation comes from the European Payments Council (EPC), co-operative banks, saving banks, commercial banks, and payment institutions. In addition, four national central bank board members represent the Eurosystem.

The establishment of the new body follows strong criticism of the Sepa governance structure and the lack of consultation with end-users. At the EBAday meeting in Luxembourg earlier this month, banks too expressed their concerns about the expense of the project, its sluggish returns and the failure of national governments to support the scheme.

Internal market commissioner Michel Barnier describes the formation of the Council as "a crucial step forwards" in the realisation of an integrated market for payments in euro.

"To achieve the full potential of Sepa, we clearly need to improve user involvement in this project, both from early design to final implementation," he says. "I very much hope that this new Council will act as a catalyst to create a retail payment framework fully meeting the expectations of all actors."

The main issues discussed at the first meeting were the need and conditions to establish migration end-dates for Sepa and the future of a Sepa for payment cards.

The Council will meet twice a year for an initial period of three years, say the ECB and the Commission, who will monitor and evaluate its progress over time.

Gertrude Tumpel-Gugerell, ECB executive board member, says the Council will not displace the bank-backed co-ordinating body, the EPC.

"We need to recognise the importance of user involvement for the success of Sepa," she says. "The Sepa Council aims at bringing together, at the highest level, the demand and supply sides of the European payments market, without, however, replacing any of the existing bodies, such as the European Payments Council."
KeywordsEUROSEPA

Comments: (3)

Keith Richbell
Keith Richbell - eftpos Payments Australia Ltd. (ePAL) - Sydney | 07 June, 2010, 23:33

Governments have not backed Sepa because they have far more pressing issues to address in Euroland. SEPA will take decades to make any impact because IT IS NOT IMPORTANT to the lives of European citizens who are the people who tend to vote politicians in and out of office. Still, at least the members of the Sepa Council can enjoy a few lunches in Brussels, where I'm told the food is pretty good. 

Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 thumb ups! (Log in to thumb up)
Barry Kislingbury
Barry Kislingbury - ACI Worldwide - London | 09 June, 2010, 10:58

I sincerely hope that this new council does give SEPA focus, the current unregulated regime has turned a laudable goal into a global farce, see the previous comment from Australia.  I have had similar conversations with banks all over the world who are watching Europe, initially in case SEPA was a great success but now in disbelief.  One thing I would ask this new council is to include vendors as well as the end users; many of our smaller clients do not have the resources of the large players and rely on us to educate and produce the solutions they need.

Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 thumb ups! (Log in to thumb up)
A Finextra member
A Finextra member | 15 June, 2010, 15:25

In my view simply getting to the point where 16 politically separate countries can even contemplate a single payment system is an achievement unequalled anywhere so it's good that the Sepa Council has come together to get things moving. However, one might question whether meeting just twice a year is enough to ensure the drive and focus required for such a mammoth task.

Like Mr Kislingbury I also have concerns around the current lack of stakeholder involvement. Feedback on how best to streamline the Sepa payment process requires input from a far broader corporate audience including software providers. Organisations like the European Direct Debit Association (EDDA) could help to encourage input not just from banks but also from businesses, clearing and settlement mechanisms and regulatory bodies to provide the necessary momentum for SEPA.

It's imperative that definitive deadlines are agreed for compliance and that migration end-dates for SCT and SDD are also set this year. This is a great opportunity for banks to collaborate with technology providers to add value to their retail, commercial and corporate propositions.

Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 thumb ups! (Log in to thumb up)
Comment on this story (membership required)

Finextra news in your inbox

For Finextra's free daily newsletter, breaking news flashes and weekly jobs board: sign up now

Related stories

EBAday 2010: Sepa foundations laid - time to get building

EBAday 2010: Sepa foundations laid - time to get building

28 May 2010  |  12133 views  |  0 comments
EPC defends Sepa Direct Debits against consumer fraud allegations

EPC defends Sepa Direct Debits against consumer fraud allegations

04 March 2010  |  10893 views  |  0 comments
EPC and GSMA launch consultation on Sepa contactless m-payments

EPC and GSMA launch consultation on Sepa contactless m-payments

29 January 2010  |  9411 views  |  0 comments
European banks call for more political backing for Sepa

European banks call for more political backing for Sepa

13 October 2009  |  8017 views  |  2 comments
European Commission moves closer to enforcing Sepa end-game

European Commission moves closer to enforcing Sepa end-game

01 October 2009  |  8370 views  |  2 comments
New schemes vital to Sepa for cards success - ECB's Tumpel-Gugerell

New schemes vital to Sepa for cards success - ECB's Tumpel-Gugerell

10 September 2009  |  8440 views  |  0 comments
Payment systems users warn of risks of Sepa failure

Payment systems users warn of risks of Sepa failure

21 July 2009  |  10433 views  |  4 comments
EC consults on Sepa migration deadline

EC consults on Sepa migration deadline

09 June 2009  |  9351 views  |  5 comments
France delays Sepa Direct Debit launch

France delays Sepa Direct Debit launch

01 May 2009  |  15107 views  |  3 comments
European Central Bank calls for 'urgent' action on Sepa

European Central Bank calls for 'urgent' action on Sepa

24 November 2008  |  10853 views  |  1 comments

Related company news

 

Related blogs

Create a blog about this story (membership required)
Find out moreVisit colt.netFind out more

Who is commenting?

Top topics

Most viewed Most shared
Ripple rudely gatecrashes Sibos partyRipple rudely gatecrashes Sibos party
10458 views comments | 32 tweets | 30 linkedin
Swift beware: Ripple signs banks to global payments steering groupSwift beware: Ripple signs banks to global...
9305 views comments | 33 tweets | 18 linkedin
BNP Paribas is working with clients on blockchain deploymentBNP Paribas is working with clients on blo...
7667 views comments | 15 tweets | 30 linkedin
US gets same day ACHUS gets same day ACH
7065 views comments | 23 tweets | 20 linkedin
Loss of passporting could cause squeezed middleLoss of passporting could cause squeezed m...
7013 views comments | 5 tweets | 5 linkedin

Featured job

Find your next job